In the year 1917, during the First World War, Richard Alfred Hargreaves founded a firm of Chartered Accountants at Lloyd's Chambers, Market Street, Colne, Lancashire. In 1921 John William Brown and William Benson joined him as partners and the firm that bears the name Hargreaves, Brown & Benson still flourishes today from offices in Bond Street, Colne.
By the end of the Second World War, all the founder partners had retired and Thomas Whittam and Percy B. Settle continued the practice. At the beginning of the 1960's they were joined by Derek J. Evans and Derek J. Middleton. The current partners, Steven J. Wood and Michael J. Evans both trained at the firm and became partners in 1987 and 1993.
The aim of the original founders was to provide a service for all walks of industry, commerce and individuals in the area and, in fact, farther afield as well. This aim remains the objective of the current firm and over the years the client base has grown substantially and now includes both companies and individuals not only from the far corners of Britain, but also overseas. The firm has a reputation for high professional levels and utilises some of the latest technology for accounts production, business planning and bookkeeping services.
One of the most successful ways in which Hargreaves, Brown & Benson have helped the local business community is in the establishing of new businesses. Their guidance is invaluable to the potential entrepreneur and their advice can often lead to a more profitable operation and substantial savings of tax in the first years of trading. Local bank managers, enterprise organisations and financial advisors who are approached by new business ventures recommend the firm and it is a reflection of the high esteem in which the firm is held, by both clients and fellow professionals that most new clients are obtained through recommendation.
Hargreaves, Brown & Benson is one of the diminishing number of firms that is still authorised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales as a Training Office. Most authorised training firms are now larger practices based in cities such as London or Manchester. To retain this recognition is a mark of the high professional level practiced. The firm is also registered by their Institute to carry out audit work. Again something which not every firm can boast.
As well as the comprehensive range of services available within the firm, Hargreaves Brown & Benson have strong ties with specialist consultants. Areas such as international VAT and tax planning, specialist audit and investigation, and raising finance are amongst areas covered by links with top UK advisors.
As Hargreaves, Brown & Benson look forward to the future, the traditional values and the efficient, friendly and timely service, which have been a hallmark of the firm over the last ninety years, continue to be honoured by the current partners.